Dividing marital property can be one of the most challenging parts of a divorce case and can sometimes result in drawn-out disputes. An unfair decision regarding the division of your assets could have a tremendous financial impact on the rest of your life. The stakes are high, and you need a seasoned family attorney to help you navigate the process.
If you face the possibility of a divorce or are currently going through the process, now is the right time to talk to an attorney. A Piscataway property division lawyer could help you understand the law, advise you of your rights, and guide you through every step of your divorce case.
Understanding Property Division in New Jersey
Before the judge divides a married couple’s property, they must evaluate and separate all items into two distinct categories: marital or non-marital assets. The distinction is essential, as the judge can only divide marital assets in divorce, whereas personal assets remain with the original owner.
In many situations, the most contentious aspect of divorce proceedings is determining whether assets are owned individually. A Piscataway attorney could assist with this aspect of property division during a divorce case.
Non-marital assets include anything owned by one spouse but not the other. Often, non-marital assets include things a spouse owns prior to their marriage. Gifts explicitly given to one spouse during the marriage also count as individual property. Individual assets are exempt from being distributed during divorce proceedings.
It is worth noting that there are assets owned before marriage that could be converted into marital assets over time. There are also exceptions that go the other way. For example, an inheritance is not treated as a marital asset even if it is received during the course of the marriage.
Marital assets are the things that two spouses jointly own. This marital property must be divided during the divorce process. The judge does not have to try and split the property evenly. Instead, it is their role to divide the property in a way that is fair.
Does Property Value Matter During Division?
Another key consideration in the property division phase of a divorce is determining the value of marital assets. Understanding an item’s worth helps ensure the total value of the marital property is split equitably. In some cases, there is little doubt about what jointly owned property might be worth.
Some assets are common enough that there is an accepted value for them. For example, it is not difficult for both sides to reach a consensus on the value of a non-luxury vehicle, given the tools for determining what a used car is worth. Most real estate can also be valued with the help of expert property appraisers.
That said, certain types of property are more difficult to put a dollar amount on. The value of some things—like art or family heirlooms—is subjective. Other assets are rare enough that there is no sales history to consider. In these cases, a Piscataway attorney could work to determine the most accurate value possible and ensure the division of assets is fair.
Call a Piscataway Property Division Attorney Today
If you believe divorce is in your future, it is in your best interests to think about protecting your rights. You deserve to be treated fairly during the divorce process, and this includes during the distribution of marital assets. Talk to a Piscataway property division lawyer to learn more.